Anthony Anderson's Mom Was Tasked With Cutting Off Award Speeches at the Emmys This Year

The controversial new play-off strategy is gentle yet firm.

Anthony Anderson kisses his mom Doris Bowman on the cheek at the 75th Emmy Awards
(Image credit: Frederic J. Brown / AFP)

The constant dilemma that awards shows face is how to make sure each winner gets sufficient speech time while also keeping the show going. It's a thankless task, as the show's producers risk offending the long-winded speech giver (or their fanbase on Twitter). For the 2024 Emmy Awards, host Anthony Anderson brought along an innovative solution to let winners know they are loved while also making sure they wrap it up: his mother Doris Bowman.

Early in the show, the Black-ish actor announced that Bowman would be in the crowd monitoring speeches and cutting off winners who go over. Viewers soon got a chance to see her in action, when Jennifer Coolidge won her second Supporting Actress Emmy for season 2 of The White Lotus. About half a minute into the actress's (once again iconic) speech, Bowman stood up from her seat holding a hand-drawn sign showing a crossed out time-clock.

As Coolidge bargained for time for one more comment, Bowman calmly but firmly told the winner, "I love you, baby, but you need to wrap it up."

Of course, Twitter (a.k.a. X) is already sharing their opinions on the method, with some being in favor while others call it cringe or disrespectful (either to the winners or to Bowman herself, who may lose goodwill from the viewers throughout the night). It will depend on whether she meets any pushback throughout the night, but as we're still within the first hour, it's a fun new addition to the show. (John Oliver added a necessary bit of levity when he started to read off the names of an entire Liverpool soccer team in order to get prompted off by Bowman.)

Either way, the bit follows a tradition of Bowman being involved in many of her son's projects, from Anderson's previous hosting stints to the game show We Are Family. Ahead of tonight's ceremony, Emmys producer Dionne Harmon spoke to Variety about adding the show's first "play-off mama."

“The worst part of an award show is having to cut off people’s speeches,” Harmon said. “And so, Anthony’s mom is going to help us. She’ll pop her head around the side and tap her watch. You’ll know that you’ve got to wrap it up. She’s excited about it, and I think it’ll be an interesting twist that we haven’t seen on an award show like this.”

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.